The luxury of spending the night in Jerusalem allows you to combine the wonders of the surrounding countryside and some of the Old City's most important sites. It also eliminates the need to make the round-trip journey in one day, thus maximising the time you have to spend in this remarkable part of the world.
DAY ONE - NAZARETH / GALILEE / JERUSALEM
Visit the Mount of Beatitudes from where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount. In 2000, Pope John-Paul II celebrated the Eucharist on its slope. From the terrace of the domed Catholic Church, founded in 1937, there are splendid views of the Sea of Galilee. Continue to Tabgha and the Church of the Multiplication, which is believed to occupy the site where Christ performed his miracle with two fish and five loaves.
Capernaum was the centre of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee. Take a guided walking tour to view the ruined synagogue where Christ preached before leaving for luncheon.
Nestled in a circle of cypress studded hills, Nazareth is the scene of Jesus's youth. Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, consecrated in 1969 and the largest Christian Church in the Middle East. It is said to mark the grotto where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. Continue your tour on the river bank revered by the faithful as the spot where John the Baptist immersed Jesus in the waters of the River Jordan.
Travel to Jerusalem and check into a leading hotel to relax before dinner. After dinner there will an optional complimentary tour of the Old City by night.
DAY TWO - BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and explore the Israel Museum that holds the Shrine of the Book presenting the Dead Sea Scrolls and the second Temple era model.
Visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is in the Palestinian Authority and a local guide will join the coach at the check point as Israeli citizens cannot enter Bethlehem. The visit to the Church is combined with shopping in the city hosted by the local guides.
Luncheon with wine will be served in a leading Jerusalem Hotel before visiting the Garden of Gethsemane where ancient olive trees shade this enclosure on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem; it was here in this garden that Judas betrayed Christ.
The Church of All Nations was built at Gethsemane in 1924 and features interior domes decorated with mosaic symbols of the countries that contributed to its construction.
Walk through Jaffa Gate and visit The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, believed to enshrine the sites of Christ's crucifixion, entombment and resurrection. The 12th century church is shared by several Christian denominations. Steep steps lead to the second level where a shrine is situated in Calvary or Golgotha.
Walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering and observe some of the Stations of the Cross, through the city's narrow and crowded cobbled streets via the bazaar. Continue towards the massive Western Wall which is part of the Temple Mount foundation erected by Herod the Great. The Wall is the most sacred Jewish shrine in Jerusalem. From the plaza you can view the Temple Mount dominated by the El Asqa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, sacred to the Muslims.
This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Bookings for this tour will close 30 days prior to the tour date. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Children under 12 years old are not permitted on this tour. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (double = HFA800, single = HFA801). Prices shown on your overland excursions record are per person, not per room. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made will incur a 100% cancellation fee. No refunds will be given for any unused portion of the tour.
This tour has been planned taking into account special security arrangements and requirements.
Admittance into certain religious sites requires attire that covers shoulders and knees. Entrance to the Grotto in Bethlehem is not guaranteed due to time constraints. As you will be away from the ship overnight, we ask that you limit your luggage to 1 light holdall or bag per person. You will be responsible for carrying your luggage on and off the coach and in and out of your hotel. Please do not forget to include any medications and other personal requirements. The sequence of the itinerary may be altered. The Church of the Multiplication is closed on Sundays; a visit will be made to St Peter’s Primacy instead.
The fare includes: transport by coach, sightseeing and entrance fees as described, meals as stated and hotel accommodation.
The fare does not include: items of a personal nature such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, fees for doctor's visits prescriptions/medication or travel insurance.